Netflix has acquired the exclusive U.S. rights to movies from Walt Disney Studios films, beginning in 2016, in a three-year deal that catapults the Internet video-on-demand service into direct competition with pay-TV giants such as HBO and Showtime.
The news is a blow to the pay channel Starz, which previously had the rights to Disney movies, including its Pixar animated films and Marvel superhero pictures.
Disney has also agreed to immediately give Netflix nonexclusive streaming rights to more of its older library titles, including “Dumbo,” “Pocahontas” and “Alice in Wonderland.”
Starz’s sole remaining movie provider is now Sony Pictures. That agreement ends in 2016.